Power Ballad

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A song by a band (typically, but not exclusively, a hard rock/heavy metal band) which is of a noticeably slower style than most of their fare. Sometimes overlaps with Black Sheep Hit, but this trope also covers songs that aren't necessarily popular. Can be be done to showcase their singer's voice.

A typical power ballad will open with a solo keyboard or acoustic guitar, with more instruments and more elaborate melodies brought in as the song progresses, building up to a dramatic finale. An electric guitar solo close to the halfway point is pretty much obligatory. If done wrong, power ballads are very susceptible to becoming Narm; if done right, they can be powerful tear jerkers.

A very common feature in the setlists of Hard Rock and Glam Metal bands in the Eighties, although they don't have a monopoly on the genre by any means.

Examples of Power Ballad include:
  • "Behind Blue Eyes", by The Who, is possibly the Ur Example.
  • Aerosmith's "Dream On," "Angel", "Hole in My Soul," and "I Don't Wanna Miss a Thing."
    • Seasons of Wither" is a good, and rather unusual, example from before they were slick.
  • The Jason Aldean and Kelly Clarkson duet "Don't You Wanna Stay," despite being a country song, oozes 1980s power ballad so strongly that one critic said it sounded like a lost collaboration between Bryan Adams and Heart.
  • Alice Cooper has a few, notably "Only Women Bleed."
  • Anthrax's "In The End", from Worship Music, which gets a bit heavier than your standard ballad, but whose lyrics tell a heartfelt song in honor of Dimebag Darrell and Ronnie James Dio. Ironically enough, much earlier in their career they also parodied power ballads with their Anti-Love Song "N.F.B. (Dallabnikufesin)".
  • The Birthday Massacre's "Movie."
  • Blind Guardian has several, including "A Past and Future Secret" and the "The Bard's Song (In the Forest)."
  • Bon Jovi is one of the two reigning kings of the power ballad (the other being Aerosmith). Among Bon Jovi's best are "I'll Be There For You," "Bed of Roses," "(You Want To) Make a Memory," "This Ain't A Love Song," "Always," "Wanted Dead Or Alive," and more.
  • Boston's "Amanda."
  • Bush updated the form to the grunge era with "Glycerine" and arguably "Letting the Cables Sleep."
  • Def Leppard has many popular ones" "Hysteria," "Have You Ever Needed Someone So Bad," "Love Bites", "White Lightning," "Stand Up (Kick Love Into Motion)," "Gods of War," and "Foolin'," to name a few.
    • They had their first U.S. success with a power ballad, "Bringin' on the Heartbreak."
  • Demons and Wizards has "Wicked Witch" and "Fiddler on the Green."
  • While Disturbed lacks any of these in their discography, they did perform a Lighter and Softer acoustic version of their song "Remember" for the Music as a Weapon tour IV... which then steers right back to heavy in the last chorus.
  • DragonForce has one per album: "Trail of Broken Hearts", "Starfire", "Dawn over a New World", "A Flame for Freedom", and an acoustic version of "Seasons".
  • Dream Evil has "Losing You."
    • Dream Evil also has a parody in the form of "The Ballad."
  • "Carrie" by Europe (band).
  • Dream Theater has a few of their own. "Another Day" and "Hollow Years" are the most popular.
  • Edguy's "Scarlet Rose," "Holy Water," "Forever," "When A Hero Cries," "Save Me," and the incredibly awesome "The Spirit Will Remain."
  • Extreme's "More Than Words." The music video even lampshades it by opening with a slow pan across a guitar amp... which the guitarist promptly turns off.
  • Escape The Fate - "The Day I Left The Womb" and "Harder Than You Know"
  • Five Finger Death Punch has "Far From Home" and "Remember Everything", both songs being completely different than their usual fare.
  • "Afterlife" by Front Line Assembly.
  • Future Pop artists usually do this at least once per album, such as Covenant's "The World is Growing Loud" (from Skyshaper) and "The Road"(Modern Ruin), VNV Nation's "From My Hands"(from OFPAG) and "Nova" (from Automatic), and Assemblage 23's "Damaged", "Old" (both from Meta), and "The Cruelest Year"(from Compass).
  • Guns N' Roses has the "Civil War" trilogy ("November Rain", "Don't Cry" and "Estranged") and "Patience" (although the latter, originally acoustic, is played electrically in live concerts).
  • Hammerfall's "Glory to the Brave," "Always Will Be," and "Send Me a Sign."
  • Heart's "Alone", "What About Love?", "These Dreams", and many other songs they made during the mid-to-late Eighties.
  • Hinder's "Lips of an Angel"
  • Iron Maiden's "Wasting Love." The acoustic song "Journeyman" kinda counts (though the lyrical content is pure Maiden). Also, "Strange World".
  • Journey's "Faithfully," "Open Arms," and "After All These Years," etc.
  • "Amazed" by Lonestar is a rare country music example.
  • KISS's "Beth" and "Forever." "We Are One" probably counts as well.
  • "Screaming in the Night", by Krokus. It's pretty fast for a ballad, but they are what they are.
  • Yngwie Malmsteen's "Dreaming."
  • Manowar's "Master of the Wind," "Hymn of the Immortal Warrior," "Blood Brothers," and "Father." There is one in almost every album they've put out, really.
  • Meat Loaf has several, including "I'd Lie for You (and That's the Truth)," "For Crying Out Loud," and "It's All Coming Back To Me Now." Indeed, his style of performance tends to turn any song into this trope.
  • Megadeth's "A Tout le Monde."
  • Metallica's "Fade to Black", "Hero of the Day" and "Nothing Else Matters". "The Unforgiven" and "The Unforgiven III" too.
  • Michael Bolton's stock in trade. Most of the songs he's written for other artists are saccharine power ballads too.
  • Motley Crue's "Home Sweet Home," which made the power ballad a staple for all Hair Metal bands after that point.
  • Mr. Big's number one hit "To Be With You" was probably the last really successful hair metal power ballad.
  • Night Ranger's "Sister Christian"
  • It's been stated that the first rule of Oasis' singles discography is "for every rock out, there must be a heartbreaking follow-up." Examples include "Live Forever," "Wonderwall," "Stop Crying Your Heart Out," and "I'm Outta Time."
  • Ozzy Osbourne's two most successful songs are the ballads "Mama, I'm Coming Home" and the duet with Lita Ford "Close My Eyes Forever."
  • "Stevie" by Pat Travers, modeled after GFR's "Heartbreaker".
  • Poison has "Every Rose Has Its Thorn" and "Something to Believe In".
  • Queen had "Save Me", "Jealousy", "All Dead, All Dead". "White Queen (As It Began), "We Are The Champions", "Lily Of The Valley". "Sail Away Sweet Sister", "Las Palabras De Amor", "Teo Toriatte", "Is This The World We Created?", "Who Wants To Live Forever" and "These Are The Days Of Our Lives", to name a few.
  • The Ramones' "Poison Heart."
  • Rammstein's "Amour" And "Ohne Dich."
  • Almost everything Rascal Flatts has released since 2004, starting with "What Hurts the Most." Having noted rock producer Dann Huff behind the boards helps.
  • REO Speedwagon proved capable of truly Epic Rocking before The Eighties set in (see "Riding The Storm Out"), but their first two #1 hits in the United States fall under this category: "Keep On Loving You" and "Can't Fight This Feeling."
  • Rise Against's "Swing Life Away" and "Hero of War"
  • Every other hit Roxette had was one of these. The more well-known are: "Listen to your heart", "It must have been love", "Spending my time", "Almost unreal" and "Fading like a flower."
  • Aside of "In Trance", Scorpions had "Still Loving You" and "Wind of Change". Probably also "Send me an Angel."
  • Skid Row has "18 and Life," "I Remember You," "In a Darkened Room," and "Wasted Time." Actually, if you only knew Skid Row's hits, you might think the band only plays power ballads.
  • Skillet: "Yours to Hold."
  • Sonata Arctica has lots, such as "Tallulah", "Draw Me" and "The Misery". Some fans complain that too many of them are played at concerts.
  • A little heavy for a ballad, perhaps, but Three Days Grace have "Over and Over" off One-X.
  • Tiziana Rivale's "Don't Walk Away" and "Kiss on My Lips". A throwback to 80's ballads complete with the use of Award Bait sparkle synth.
  • The Veronicas' "In Another Life"
  • "Serenade" and "DESTINY -The Lovers-" by Versailles. These two songs are actually related in an interesting way: "Serenade" is a Grief Song, and the music video was dedicated to the band's recently deceased bassist, Jasmine You. Meanwhile, "DESTINY -The Lovers-", the first new single to be released after his death, has a prominent bass line, and the music video includes footage from the concert where Kamijo announced that Masashi would be joining Versailles, and the video essentially serves as the fans' introduction to him. In essence, these two songs are one glorious aversion of Nobody Loves the Bassist.
  • "Is This Love" by Whitesnake.
  • X Japan has "Endless Rain," "Voiceless Screaming," "Say Anything," "Crucify My Love," "Forever Love," and "Without You." "Jade," at least in its current form, straddles the line between Power Ballad and a heavier rock song.